Ruth Mountain & Icy Peak Traverse


Basic Glacier Climb - Ruth Mountain & Icy Peak Traverse

Two peaks, three summits? Just because we may tag Ruth twice :)

COVID-19: Learn about our most up-to-date guidance for participants and leaders on our COVID-19 Response page. All participants and leaders must agree to the COVID-19 Code of Conduct before participating in this Mountaineers activity.
  • Sat, Jul 24, 2021 — Sun, Jul 25, 2021
  • Foothills Climbing Committee
  • Climbing
  • Basic Alpine
  • Adults
  • Basic Glacier Climb, Strenuous 3, Technical 2
  • Challenging
  • Mileage: 17.5 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 8,200 ft
  • High Point Elevation: 7,115 ft
  • Pace: 1.5 mph 800 ft/hr

Hannegan Trailhead at 8:30am. Lat-lon: 48.910210, -121.591885. Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.

Please click on [more+] and read through before requesting permission to register.


  • Day 1: We will hike the Hannegan Pass Trail for 4.35 miles, 2,000 ft vertical gain, in its entirety, reaching Hannegan Pass. From there, we will follow the Ruth Arm for another 1.55 miles, 1,000 ft gain, reaching the glacier on the north of Ruth Mountain. Another 0.5 mile and 1,000 ft vertical will put us on the summit of Ruth Mountain, elevation 7,115 ft, after a total of 6.4 miles and 4,000 ft gain. We will then carry our packs over the summit, descending 500 ft west and then south to arrive at our camp sites at elevation 6,600 ft.
  • Day 2: This will be a long day, alpine start required. We will proceed SSE towards Icy Peak, descending 800 ft and then gaining 1,300 ft over about 1.8 miles. The final scramble is challenging, on loose rock, and exposed, so a leader will set a fixed line and we will climb one person at a time. After a well deserved break to enjoy the views from Icy Peak's 7,073 ft tall summit, we will rappel down and then retrace our steps back to camp, then back to the summit of Ruth, then back to our cars for a total of 17 miles, 8,000+ ft vertical gain.


  • Our main goals are to have fun and be safe. Expedition behavior expected!
  • This is a very long, strenuous climb. Be ready to carry your overnight pack during a long approach of 7 miles, 4,000 ft vertical gain. Please take this very seriously: the leaders will ask you to stay at camp on day 2 if your pace is not up to expectations; we are doing this so the group can have a safe and timely return trip.
  • All participants should be familiar with the route and weather.


  • We do not have permits for the Icy Cross Country Zone in North Cascades National Park. The leader will travel one day earlier to secure the permits at the Ranger Station. Since none of the 6 camp sites was reserved during the advance reservation period, which has ended, all backcountry permits are going to be issued on a first-come first-serve basis, in person only, no sooner than one day before the trip. In the highly unlikely scenario where no permits are available, we will tag Ruth Mountain and return to the trailhead on the same day.
  • When requesting permission, please include your fitness/conditioning level (recent trips of at least 7 miles and 4,000 ft gain, with an overnight pack) and an answer to the question: which will you enjoy the most, views from the mellow Ruth glacier or the spicy Icy scramble?
  • Mentored climb for Rodrigo Franco Toso. Mentor: Takeo Kuraishi.

Ruth Mountain & Icy Peak Traverse

  • Green Trails Mt Shuksan No. 14

    Green Trails Mount Baker Wilderness Climbing No. 13SX

    Green Trails North Cascades Ross Lake No. 16SX

    USGS Mt Sefrit

    USGS Mt Shuksan
  • See full route/place details.
Required Equipment

Required Equipment

  • The Ten Essentials
  • Mountain boots that can accept crampons (not hiking boots)
  • Crampons
  • An ice axe (not technical ice tools)
  • A sleeping bag rated to +20 degrees or colder
  • A sleeping pad
  • A back pack (40 to 60 liters)
  • Webbing and accessory cords
  • 4 straight gate carabiners
  • 2 locking carabiners
  • Large pear-shaped carabiner
  • Belay device
  • Climbing harness
  • Helmet
  • Rescue pulley
  • Fleece or puffy jacket
  • Rain jacket and full-zip rain pants
  • Warm gloves or mittens
Trip Reports